Type: Research Essays
Sample donated: Franklin Dunn
Last updated: April 20, 2019
‘A small business wishes to sell a range of electronic games to help alleviate boredom for young children and also be of educational value. You have been asked to design and make a suitable prototype’I have decided to design, research and make a portable infrared target game that is fun to use and good for improving reactions. After choosing this idea a number of guidelines instantly presented themselves to me:> Appearance> Safety> Expense> Guidelines set by NEABFor this project I am going to extensively research all of the major areas of the product such as the four listed above and other areas such as chips and casing.
I must try and consider every option of fulfilling the product guidelines to the greatest amount of customer satisfaction.Design SpecificationThis section is going to cover the rough spec of the product I am going to produce. I have compiled a list of points to do this:> The final product must cost less than £10> The final product must be aesthetically pleasing> The laser emitter must be cased ergonomically> The product must be enjoyable for children> The product must have an ON/OFF switch> The product must have a battery power indicator LED> Mains electricity cannot be used> Battery must be easily accessible> The product must be safe for children to use> The electronic equipment must be housed in the casing> The PCB must be secure in the casingResearchThis section of my coursework is going to involve researching casing materials and ways of joining, electronic components and existing products..WoodI am only going to research man-made boards because they are cheaper to buy so, are more suitable for my project.PlywoodPlywood is made from layers (or plies) of wood glued together with each grain at right-angles to the last. Plywood is always made with an odd amount of plies so that the top and the bottom grains run in the same direction.
Some plywood is veneered with a more expensive hardwood to improve appearance and make it more durable.ChipboardChipboard is created by compressing small chips of wood and glue with heat. Most chipboard is graded meaning that it has smaller chips on the outside surfaces of it which adds to the smoothness and overall quality of the wood. Chipboard veneered with melamine or hardwoods are widely used for work surfaces and shelves.MerantiMeranti is a hardwood with very similar properties and looks to Mahogany, durable and strong. It is dark and much cheaper than mahogany and in plentiful supply.
It is medium weight and finishes fairly well. Quite difficult to work and doesn’t polish as well as mahoganyTeakOriginates in Burma and India and is coloured a rich, golden brown. It is hard, strong and naturally durable . It has a very attractive straight grain. It is difficult to work with because it blunts tools and doesn’t glue very well because all of it’s natural oils. It is also very expensive.Softwoods such as pineSoftwoods come from very fast growing trees and so are less expensive to produce and buy.
They are generally very easy to cut and work with but must be finished to a high standard to have a viable amount of durability.WhitewoodWhitewood is a softwood that originates in Northern Europe and Canada. It is a strong, creamy white wood that is fairly strong and easy to work. It is not very durable and contains small, hard knots and resin pockets. It is generally used for inside work.MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard)MDF is a manufactured board that finishes extremely well.
It can be primed and finished easily. It is not very durable outdoors because it goes soggy. It can be used for making vacuum forming moulds. Tools are very easily blunted by MDF.
Wood FinishesThere is a variety of ways of finishing wood to improve its aesthetic impact.OilOil produces a good finish on oily timbers like Teak. Oil requires regular re-coating to keep the finish good. Examples of oil products include linseed oil, occasionally used coating cricket bats and teak oil. Olive oil is used on wood that will come into contact with food. Oil finish should be re-coated about once every week.
WaxWax gives a dull gloss shine that looks very attractive and shows the natural grain of the wood. To use the grain of the wood must first be sealed by using French polish (see below) then the wax must be rubbed into a smooth surface. The shine can be buffed using a soft cloth.
Plastic finishes like polyurethane varnishPlastics produce a very good finish and also show the natural colour of the wood. They are heat-proof, immune to liquid spillages and very durable. They are usually applied with a brush, a spray or a cloth and rubbed down lightly between coats. They can be diluted with a ‘turps’ substitute to help them soak into the grain to achieve a natural look.VarnishVarnish is a solution of resins in oil or spirit. It gives a hard and durable, waterproof and glossy, transparent finish. It is used as per plastic finishes but using a brush only.
PaintThere are so many types of paint that there is paint for every job imaginable. Paint should be applied in thin layer and sanded between coats to give a good even finish. This also applies to spray applied paints. To attain a good finish the paint must be undercoated, all knots in the wood sealed with knotting and then can be varnished to give a gloss, hardwearing finish.Wood jointing techniquesMy project is going to consist of a boxed receiver unit and an ergonomically designed laser sender unit.
This is why this portion of my research will consist mainly of carcase jointing techniques.Butt JointsButt joints are the simplest and easiest to make, but don’t support much weight and do not look very attractive. They can be reinforced with dovetail nailing and by using metal or wooden gussets.
Finger or comb jointsFinger joints are simple to make because there are no dovetail (see below) angles. They are strong because they have a large gluing area.Dovetail JointsDovetail Joints are the strongest carcase joints because they can only be pulled apart in one direction and they have a large glueing area.
If they are well made they can also be an attractive feature.For my project I have decided to use dovetail joints becase they are very strong and aesthetically pleasing.Woodworking ToolsThis section of research will involve looking at the tools needed to work wood correctly and also their uses.Try-SquareA try-squre is used to test that one surface plane is at right-angles (90) to another and can be used to mark lines perpendicular to an edge.Warrington Pattern HammerThe warrington pattern hammer is used for light nailing and cabinet making. The shaft of the hammer fits into a shaped socket and is expanded by a wedge so that it cannot fly off.Small Band SawThe small band saw runs from the mains and is very useful for cutting detailed work easily. The band runs at a high speed to that all the operator has to do is feed the wood through.
Coping sawThe coping saw has a thin blade whose teeth usually point towards the handle so that the saw cuts as it is pulled. Rotating the handle usually tensions the blade.Electronic Component ResearchThis section of my research is going to involve explaining the components that I need to complete my project and the ways in which they are used.